Sermon Notes: Royal Humility

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John 12:12-15 (ESV) 

12 The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” 14 And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, 15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!”

A Contrasting Picture – Mixed Messages

In the last weeks of Jesus’ life, He seems to send mixed messages.

Have you ever been given mixed messages?

  • Come Here (Indonesia Visa Story)

Jesus is fulfilling a powerful yet ridiculous prophecy. 

Zechariah 9:9 (ESV)

9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

This was a colt, probably just old enough to be ridden but having never been ridden before.

Luke 19:29-32 (ESV) 

29 When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’” 32 So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them.

This tells me that Jesus doesn’t need an eloquent dignified orator to carry Him to a city. He simply needs a… donkey.

    • Even if they look silly.
    • Even if their knees are shaking.
  • Just carry Jesus!

This was a Ridiculous Triumphant Entry.

  • King on a Donkey (vs warhorse)
      • Riding a Donkey in Tibet (i had an image of me being braveheart on a stallion proclaiming the Gospel, but it was a DONKEY – a mini donkey).
  • Colt vs Full Grown Donkey
      • Seated on the colt of a donkey he would have been around the same height as when standing (not standing far above). 
  • Hosanna today! Crucify him, a few days later.
  • Shouts of praise followed by deaths threats

It is very likely that the same people who cried HOSANNA cried CRUCIFY. Why? Because Jesus didn’t deliver like a conquering king, and they despised that and turned on Him.

Have you ever turned on God because He didn’t do exactly what you wanted Him to do?

  • The book of Job is a beautiful hint of what God is indeed looking for. A people who won’t abandon their relationship with Him just because things don’t go the way they want.

This was the contrast. Jesus openly shows that He is indeed the Messiah but not acting like what the people expected. The people wanted a political messianic deliverer, not a humble king bleeding for your sins. They wanted a King coming with Roman conquering power, not lowly service to the sinners


When I saw this, I realized that during the last weeks of Jesus’ life, he was screaming a message to His followers! And that message is that we are not to live the same way the world lives! He is screaming a message of HUMILITY!

Humility is the picture of the last weeks of Jesus’ life before the crucifixion.

    • He raises the dead and weeps for the heartbreak in those around Him.
      • Showing His great power and His great humanity. He is not above meeting people where they are.
  • He rides triumphantly into Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey.
    • Showing He’s the messiah that refuses to crush those around Him.
  • He enters the temple, and the people expect Him to take rule, but he welcomes the outcast.
    • Yet he makes room for the gentile, cleaning the outer courts and making room for the gentile, the lost, the blind, the lame!
  • He rises from his honored seat to lower himself to wash the filthy feet of His disciples.
    • Showing that He came to serve and not to be served.

It’s almost like He was trying to scream a message of humility! 

Jesus is showing us what strength and humility look like when properly joined. 

In our broken culture, humility is often shunned by the weak and faked by the strong. In fact, as I teach on this virtue, there is probably fear and doubt in your mind. 

If you are not careful, you will believe what our corrupt culture teaches us about humility. 

  • You will think that these things are in opposition to one another. 
  • Power and humility are complimentary. 
  • The humble are the truly strong ones.
  • Jesus is the strongest man ever to live!

Yes, often the proud and arrogant get the rewards, but let me ask you,  Do you want to gain the whole world and lose your soul?

We are not to live like the world! We are to be full of a spirit of POWER, LOVE, and SOUND MIND!

They said if Jesus and the apostles that they had turned the world upside down. Little do you know that they actually set it right. 

These days the world has been turned upside down once again. Right is wrong. Wrong is right. No truth. 

We are not to live according to the world’s ways!

Jesus’ main characteristic was humility.

Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV) 

28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Philippians 2:4-11 (ESV) 

4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus was showing us what ROYAL HUMILITY looks like!

We are a ROYAL Priesthood. We are to be people of ROYAL HUMILITY!

1 Peter 2:9 (ESV) 

9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

What is humility?

  • Root word means low. 
  • Humility is honesty.
  • “That was a great song.” “It was the Lord.” “Well, it wasn’t THAT good.”
  • Humility is not lowering yourself, thinking you are nothing.
  • Humility is not being unable to take a compliment.
  • Humility is not thinking trash about yourself

True Humility is:

  • Strength under total control. 
  • Captain American (all effort) vs Superman (all control)
  • Mercy triumphing over Judgment.
  • Strength submitted to the will of the Father. 
  • Strength surrendered to the Holy Spirit. 
  • Strength used to love God and others.

Humility comes when the FEAR of GOD is formed in your heart.

  • Humility cares about what God wants so much that the praises and curses of men don’t matter.
  • True humility is such a strength that the rejection nor praises of men move you from your obedience. 
  • Because your view of yourself is honest and based on God’s word, and God’s opinion, your life audience is ONE. You are living for Him and for those he died for.

Humility keeps us from thinking too highly of ourselves by assuming we know better than all others.

  • Unearned Confidence
    • Digital doctorates – internet experts
    • Single people teaching marriage seminars.
    • Prophetic voices that can’t discern God’s will for their lives trying to direct others.
    • Worship leaders with no ministry experience or no real walk with God trying to dictate the direction of the church.
    • Non-travelers telling missionaries how to reach the world.
    • Having an opinion about everything and getting offended when people don’t listen!

  • Knowing something vs DOING something.
    • Knowing means to THINK you know. 
    • Doing means you actually know.
      • Knowing takes no faith.
      • Doing takes all faith.
      • Oftentimes, those who truly know are less talkative about all they know because they are very aware of how much they do not know.

Romans 12:3-8 (ESV) 

3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

  • You will grow in humility not by lowering your view of yourself but by lifting your view of others!
  • We can truly start to respect and honor the gifts of others!

  • You will grow in humility as you are strong in the grace given to you and let others be strong in the grace given to them!

  • You will grow in humility as you focus on humbling yourself before GOD in your heart rather than posturing yourself to look humble in front of men.

False Humility 

  • We wanted humility in our values, but knew if we put it in there we would create a culture of false humility. Instead, we put honor and service.
  • False Humility does not believe what you say with your own mouth. It’s a lie. It’s false.
  • If you don’t believe it’s true, don’t say it!
    • “Oh, my house is so dirty…”
    • “I will fine with a little cottage on the corner of heaven.”
    • “Move mightily God, even if you don’t use me.”
      • You KNOW you want to be involved in what God is doing!
  • Don’t ACT humble, learn to BE humble before God in your heart! 
  • Ask God to teach you. He will!

True Royal Humility (like Jesus) is SO powerful and good at the same time!

Humility is the way to grace.

James 4:6 (ESV) 

6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

Humility and the fear of the Lord  is the way to honor and riches.

Proverbs 22:4 (ESV)

4 The reward for humility and fear of the LORD is riches and honor and life.

Humility is the way to promotion

James 4:10 (ESV)

10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.


I can tell you that we as a people have drifted far. 

The drift of the church is something we all have to come to terms with. 

That’s why the personality of Jesus matters! He is our anchor. Our image to imitate. 

  • Story from Thailand.

We are to be imitators of God!

Ephesians 5:1 (ESV) 

1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.

We are to be transformed into the image of Christ!

2 Corinthians 3:18 (ESV)

18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

If we are to return to the heart of our Fathers, we must capture correctly the image of Jesus again.

  • The Great King on a donkey’s colt.
  • God on a cross.
  • The good shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep.
  • He didn’t come to be served. But to serve. And to save!
  • The strongest most humble being ever to step foot on our earth.
  • Friday night I’ll show you even more. Jesus lowered himself to death even on a cross. Lower than you become a worm.

Hosanna means Save (Gospel presentation).

Now I want the Lord to start revealing ways you can apply this message to your life.